My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Lazy Sunday

Presenting . . .

Double Eyelet Rib Socks 070107

Double Eyelet Rib Socks 070107

A completed pair of Double Eyelet Rib Socks.

These socks were knitted toe-up on size 2mm needles using All Things Heather merino/silk yarn in the “Passion” colorway, purchased from The Loopy Ewe. My own pattern, it will be made available as a freebie in the near future.

Double Eyelet Rib Sock Heel 070107

Double Eyelet Rib Sock Heel 070107

I can’t say enough nice things about this yarn — I loved knitting with it. It’s beautifully soft and has fabulous stitch definition. And I love the colorway.

I might have bought more in other colorways . . .

The Great Circular Debate

Thanks y’all for weighing in with your opinions about circs vs. dpns vs. magic loop. There were so many great comments to Thursday’s post. If anyone is on the fence about what to use for socks, go read ’em — lots of great info there.

And thanks for voting in the poll. Is the in-blog poll plug-in not the coolest thing ever? This was installed by Knotty Daisy of course. She is the purveyor of all blog coolness as far as I’m concerned.

An interesting comment from Rebekkah:

My problem with the 2 circular technique is that when starting the new needle, you end up pulling the last stitch on the previous needle tight around the skinny cord (not another needle, as with DPNs). This can make it difficult (sometimes frustratingly so) to slide it onto the needle later, and can be visible in the finished fabric.

I’ve mentioned this to other people, and have never heard a response on it. Do you not have this problem? I think it’s an awfully clever and convenient technique, except for this one glitch. A glitch which caused me some major tension and blocking headaches when I used the technique for sleeves on a fair isle sweater. I suppose it’s possible to very carefully tension your yarn at those joins, but tensioning the yarn between needles on DPNs is so easy (I just give a few tugs, and never get ladders) that they win out every time. I can’t be the only person who has experience this phenomenon with the technique, but I never see anyone mention it. Maybe I *am* the only one…

I found this interesting because I have discovered that I do a better job of tension between the needles with two circulars than with dpns. I give the yarn a gentle tug before I knit the first stitch on a needle, and that seems to do the trick. With dpns I consciously pull hard n the yarn to ensure there are no ladders between needles. It’s sort of unconscious for me to tension the yarn properly on two circs.

This no doubt makes me odd. 😉

New Sock

Next in the line-up after the Double Eyelet Ribs was the latest kit in The Rockin’ Sock Club. The pattern is called Solstice Slip, and the lovely, lovely yarn is in a colorway called Firebird.

I am generally not a fan of these colors but this yarn is so glorious I can’t stop looking at it. So of course I had to cast on. And finished one sock.

Solstice Slip 070107

Solstice Slip 070107

With some mods — I’m doing the Magic Cast-on for the toes and a plain gusseted heel instead of the short-row heel. But the stitch pattern is the same as written in the pattern. It’s great fun to knit. A heel close-up:

Solstice Slip Heel 070107

Solstice Slip Heel 070107

And a close-up of the rib:

Solstice Slip Rib 070107

Solstice Slip Rib 070107

And Teddy wanted to model the toe of the second sock. What a ham.

Teddy Models the Sock Toe 070107

Teddy Models the Sock Toe 070107

Book Giveaway

The Random Number Generator chose Laura DeF. to receive my copy of Take No Farewell. Laura, I’ve emailed you. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Lucy Sez

Me and Lucy 070107

Me and Lucy 070107

Even though I am an international superstar, I’m a homebody at heart. I love to just hang around with my Momma!


  1. Love the socks! I am so glad that I’m not competing in the Most Socks contest for the SOS 2007 I would be most discouraged. I’ve just completed my 2nd sock (first pair).
    I agree with you as to yarn tension with 2 circs. I’ve always had trouble with ladders using dpns but I never have trouble with the circs. I just pull the yarn tight and continue knitting. So you aren’t the only odd one.

  2. Those double eyelet socks are glorious. You’re really roaring away on the SOS! Is Lucy helping you when we’re not looking 😉

  3. I’m a magic looper so maybe this won’t relate — but one tip I learned was not to tighten the first stitch when you switch needles but the second. It made all the difference on how they look AND no more of those really tight stitches Rebekkah mentioned. I love those socks (both pairs) and can’t wait for your pattern. They really are pretty.

  4. You certainly deserve a Lazy Sunday! Firebird is totally my kinda colourway – I can’t wait to get some work out of the way to start in on it.
    It’s nice to know that fame hasn’t gone to Lucy’s head and that she’s keepin’ it real.

  5. I totally love the new sock club pattern and yarn. I opened the box and I think it really did take my breath away.

    And I am so going to have to watch the Loopy Ewe for that ATH colorway. I really love the color of it. And I can’t wait to get that pattern! It’s gorgeous. 🙂

  6. Awww, what a great picture of Lucy and Mama!

    No comment on the socks, I’m currently working on the last bit of my STR yarn, making little people socks for the Autistic boys… they need decent socks too, but I’m lusting after some more yarn 🙂

  7. I can’t stop looking at your double eyelet rib socks. They are absolute perfection — perfect pattern, perfect yarn. What a feast for mine eyes. Looking forward to your pattern when it’s available. 🙂 And I may have to stalk Loopey Ewe until that colorway is available again, if ever. You’re such an enabler.

  8. Those socks sure look beautiful in the Apple store! 😉

  9. Both so pretty! I can’t wait to knit socks on circs. Lucy looks like a lucious pillow!

  10. Jeannie says:

    I love the Double Eyelet Rib Socks. I can’t wait for the free pattern (hoping it includes directions for women’s size 9) : )

    You are a super speedy knitter. I would love to see a video or your hands in action!

  11. It’s nice to see you somewhere besides the bathroom mirror! Lucy looks like she’s enjoying the attention.

    BTW, my cat was sitting with me “helping” knit socks. For the first time, she chewed the yarn and chewed enough to separate it! I hope it doesn’t become a habit…

  12. I’ve noticed the issue Rebekkah mentions. What I do about it is to keep the inactive group of stitches on the needle shaft, not the cable, until I’ve knitted the first couple of the active group. This sets the sizes of the stitches at the transitions, and then I can go ahead and pull the inactive needle through to the cable and let it dangle.

  13. I do what Sara does, when I do 2 circulars.

    And I find it odd that people talk about needing to tug the yarn on dpns. I’ve never once done that, and never have ladders. It’s one reason I like dpns, because for me it’s completely mindless, no tugging or shoving stitches around.

    You’re putting me to shame for the Summer of Socks count, though! Can’t wait for the free pattern, they look great.

  14. I just love those Double Eyelet Rib socks! I’m looking forward to the pattern.

    I knit with two circs and I’ve never had a problem with the tension between the first and last stitches between the needles. Although I must admit that I never did get ladders when I knit with DPN’s either. And now that I’ve publicly admitted this, I’ll probably develop an issue. :-}

  15. Yep and it’s a lazy Sunday here in SoCal. It’s heating up, even at the beach, but that’s kul and the ole man will be BBQ’ing chicken here shortly. I’m sure my kitties will want some, but BBQ is off limits to them. They’ll get a little tuna instead.

    I’m getting an education by reading all the comments about socks. I’m sure I’ll find them helpful when I begin in earnest to knit them. Right now, I’m waiting for my yarn to arrive from different sources (no big stash for me at this point) to knit the Uluru jacket from the book Knitting Color. Straight SS stitches all the way with color changes – I think I can handle it.

    I love the new sock colorway AND the pattern. Someday *sigh* hopefully, I’ll be creating such lovely socks.

    And the lovely Madonna w/Kitty pic, how sweet is that? In my next life I want to be a well kept cat or dog!! 😉

    Have a safe holiday week! luv.m.

  16. I am so seriously in love with those double eyelet socks – gorgeous! Congratulations on finishing your second pair so far … the counter is ticking on!

    Now for my twopence worth on the sock knitting: I still get ladders on my DPN knitting (just when I think they’ve gone, one appears). I’ve just started with Magic loop and get a bit of a tension change but it’s much less noticeable than the DPNs and it stays on the sides of the sock where it annoys me less than the DPN ladders which crop up in the most annoying of places. So far, so good 🙂

  17. Christine says:

    Me thinks you need a counter on the blog for number of pairs completed 😉

  18. I’m with you… I tension that last stitch on each needle better on circs than on dpn’s. I’ve tried tugging at the end of dpn’s, and it doesn’t do anything for me as far as eliminating the ladders. I think that’s because my problem happens with the last stitch on the needle from the PREVIOUS row. With all the other needles and already knit part of the sock hanging from that one stitch, it pulls it all out of shape, and no amount of tightening of the current stitches changes that. I don’t know why, but that never happens to me with the circs.

    OTOH, I started my best friend knitting socks on 2 circs, but she gets the ladders on the circs, but NOT when she uses dpn’s. Go figure.

  19. I love the Double Eyelet pattern, too. I have the yarn picked out for it and everything! I have trouble with the yarn getting too tight for the needles in two circs when I use bamboo needles, but when I use Addi Turbos or KnitPicks, the yarn slides right onto the needles.

  20. I shared some thoughts with Rebekkah on her blog, especially since I had written an essay in the comments section already that day… but since it may be of more general interest, I’ll restate them here.
    My observation is that, as Wendy said, you don’t need to tighten down the first stitch on a new circular needle the same way you (well, everyone except Frarochvia :D) need to with DPNs. I find that if the last stitch is on the cable, rather than the tip, of the circular needle you just finished, that just the normal motions of knitting tighten up the next stitch fine.
    Many knitters who knit more tightly have gotten into the habit of giving a little extra tug to every stitch after making it. If you knit this way, then when you do that extra tug with the stitch on the cable, it tightens it too much. So if you can’t not do this, I suggest what Sara does, leave the old stitches on the old needle tip until you’ve knit a couple on the new needle. But you’ll knit much faster and more comfortably if you can break the habit of tightening each stitch after making it. The action of making the next stitch tightens up the last stitch automatically without needing to tighten it down. Your hands will thank you! My mother taught me this when I became serious about knitting, and I am so grateful.

  21. Wendy, I believe the double eyelet socks are my favorite of all the ones you have done. Just beautiful!!! Can’t wait for the pattern to come out.

  22. I only know how to knit socks toe up on two circs, so I can’t speak to DPNs or ML. I pull the yarn on the first stitch of a needle enough to pull the stitches in line, then give a tug when I put the needle through the SECOND stitch. No ladders, not too tight. It took me a loooong time to get over knitting so tight I could hardly move the stitches so I try not to get back into that habit.

  23. The socks look so cute!

    I like dpn’s better. I just can’t seem to grasp the circ’s at all for socks.

  24. It’s fun watching the daily progress you’re making, and it’s very impressive!

    I’m glad to see that you’re embracing knitting with two circs. Now wait until you start two socks on two circs. You’ll realy be impressed. The book, Queen Kahuna’s Crazy Toes and Heels has some great tips for this technique.

  25. That pic of Lucy is great! It definately shows why they are called RAGDOLLS! There’s nothing better than a big cuddly bundle of fur.

  26. Lovin’ the solstice socks and after reading all the comments re circulars I’ve decided to give it another stab. Wish me luck!!

    I’m so jealous Lucy lets you pat her tummy. My cats look at me with utter disgust when my hands venture anywhere near their (enormous) fluffy bellies. If I persist I usually get a sharp bunny kick for good measure. Jealous just JEALOUS!!

  27. I agree that Lucy is just a big bundle of beautiful fur! God cat! Your socks are all just gorgeous and are coming along very quickly. I just might win the contest. Heh Heh.

  28. In response to the 2 circs question- I had the problem when I was using the “Silvalume” circs for my socks but since I’ve switched to the Knitpicks ones, which have a much better join, it’s not so bad. Sometimes it’s a little tight but I think it just takes practice. The smoother join and a cord closer to the diameter of the needle also help a lot.

  29. As an addendum to my previous comment, I only ever have to “tug” on the first stitch when I’ve had the needles around or had to strain them, most of the time it’s pretty unnecessary- if it is I only need to give it a pretty small tug.

  30. Kristin says:

    Have to chime in on the tight stitch issue: I have knit socks on DPNs, 2 circs & magic loop. I found I had the least amount of issues with tight stitches using magic loop. As long as you tighten the SECOND stitch, then the previous stitches don’t get too tight. I only had that problem if I tightened the first stitch. My new love is doing 2 socks on one circ. I get them both done at the same time. Never have any issues with ladders 🙂

  31. The double eyelet rib socks are gorgeous! The STR club sock looks pretty cool, too.

    Aw, it’s good that Lucy still has time for the little people. 😉

  32. Oh wow. Can’t wait for the pattern – I LOVE those socks.
    The new ones are really cool, too, but I love your All Things Heather!
    Lucy looks comfy!

  33. Laura DeF says:

    Thank you Wendy and random-number-generator for choosing me to receive the copy of Take No Farewell! It made my day — now to learn to read and knit at the same time. P.S. Love your double eyelet and firebird socks.

  34. I find that the colorways Tina comes up with for the club are always perfect for the day they arrive. I remember when the kit came last summer with the yarn for Titania’s Revenge. I just sat and stared at it because it was so beautiful. When we got Walk on the Wild Tide this spring, it was so beautiful I just sat and stared at it, too. This time when Firebird arrived, I was determined to just go wind it and start knitting, but again it was just perfect for the fireball hot summer day when it arrived (and our air conditioning is on the fritz, too). Plus I’ve been catching up on Harry Potter movies, so the firebird theme worked well.

  35. Those purple socks are so unbelieavably gorgeous. Wow.

  36. Love, love, love the double eyelet pattern on the sock – I’ve got some new silk yarn I want to try with this!! My addition to this honorable blog is about the 2 circulars and the too-tight stitch – I’ve always knit socks on 2 circs and I LOVE it! My tip on the stitches is to keep the last few stitches on the “resting” needle (not down on the cord yet) while you knit the first few stitches and snug them up. THEN pull the resting needle down to rest. Very simple and keeps the tension much nicer.
    Thanks, Wendy, for letting us compare notes here! We love you and Lucy too!

  37. Aw, Lucy is just so fluffy!

    I really love those socks! I really don’t think I’ve ever tugged on the yarn while using DPN’s either, now that I think of it.

  38. Theresa in Italy says:

    I’m really enjoying and learning from all the comments in this ongoing sock tutorial. It’s like sitting in on a master class. What a cute picture of Lucy and her Momma!

  39. I WISH Pumpkin would lay in my lap like that! Oh wait, first I would have to have a lap, wouldn’t I? 🙂

    Funny, I am a die hard DPN user but here I am, doing toe up’s on magic loop and here’s Wendy enjoying 2 circs – HAS hell frozen over? Are pigs flying? hee! Maybe I’ll even have to give 2 circs another try 🙂

  40. I have some solid color silk blend yarns that will look very nice in that double eyelet pattern.

    I switched to 2 circulars at the same time I first knit socks, so I don’t know how I’d do with them at sock gauge. When I knit sleeves on DPNs I had all sorts of trouble with gauge at the needle changes. I don’t on 2 circulars and I also find the bit of a tug one the first stitch automatic.

    Most often for socks I use one 24″ and one 16″ so I can easily tell them apart. I don’t usually mind the dangling stuff if I use a longer needle, though.

    The issue I have is with needle material. I knit loosely and Addi turbos are so slick they mess up my gauge. I prefer a bamboo needle with a nice sharp tip. With my looseness, I’m down a size or two from the already small sizes.

    Crystal Palace makes 1s and 0s in bamboo, but their join has a flat end at the cable rather than a taper so they don’t work for the two circulars method. I’m also have trouble with the join on the Addi Natura 2s I’m currentlu sing for some CTH Supersock DK. The needle and the join are not really the same size. Thye’re not as bad as the CPs, though.

    I’m waiting expectantly for the Addi lace needles to be reasonably available and to come in more sizes.

  41. I have a question I forgot to ask before…..I know you have quite the Addi collection (like me) so I wonder how KP circs compare to the addi’s in the 16 inch length. I rarely use my addi’s because I find the actual needle length on the 16″ is so short it makes my hands cramp! Are the KP circ needles longer? That’s probably the #1 reason I don’t like knitting with 2 circs….I find with magic loop the longer circs have correspondingly longer needles = less cramping!

    Also I just wanted to mention, your new eyelet ribs are very pretty! For those that prefer top down socks with a similar pattern, I do have something quite similar on the sidebar of my blog. Great minds do think alike 🙂

  42. anne marie in philly says:

    lucy, you are SUCH a ham!

    you look soooooo comfy on momma’s lap, soaking up all that sweet lovin’…..

    steven and meredith are jealous!

  43. love those double eyelets! but all the socks are beautiful!

  44. Love the socks. I haven’t started my new STR yet. Heck I am still working on the grasshopper socks. LOL I love the new pattern and yarn.

    Oh Lucy it is good to see that fame hasn’t gone to your head.

  45. And I love the photo of you and Lucy! What a great photo – it captures so much.
    Love to Lucy and all the Best!

  46. Katherine says:

    Hi Wendy! I just read on another blog about Annie Modesitt needing financial assistance because of her husband’s blood cancer. She now has a button to accept donations to help pay for the wildly unexpected expenses, and a beautiful free pattern that we can download as a thank-you. She has been such an inspiration to so many knitters, I thought you might want to mention on your blog this opportunity to show our appreciation. Thanks so much! Her website is

  47. That is quite possibly the Best. STR. Evah.
    It’s going to be a long year, waiting for that colorway to become available to the masses…